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The Beantown Girls

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  16,204 ratings  ·  1,820 reviews

An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller.

A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest heroines—the best of friends—take on the front lines.

1944: Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is rep

Kindle Edition, 361 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Mel Meister Not at all. There is some talk of a POW camp walk that had some more detail (can't describe due to spoilers), but nothing about the death camps.

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  16,204 ratings  ·  1,820 reviews

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Thanks to this book, I plan to learn more about the early history of the Red Cross. In 1944, three 25 year old best friends apply for and meet the rigorous demands to become Red Cross Clubmobile girls, whose job it is to help raise morale of the men fighting in the war. Fiona wants to make it to France because her fiance was shot down over Germany months ago and is missing in action. Becoming a Clubmobile girl will get her closer to her fiance, if he is still alive, and give her a chance to do s ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a book just hits you at the right time...and blows you away with its warmth. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Beantown Girls is a doozy of a warm-hearted histfic read!

Fiona Denning is a planner. She knows who she’ll marry, when, what she’ll do until then. But, in truth, her future is up in the air. It’s 1944, and the war is in full effect. The worst news comes when she finds out her fiancé has been shot down in Germany, and he’s MIA.

Fiona is also a do-er, and rather than standby in Boston, she volu
I read a lot of historical fiction and had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile. The Beantown Girls is a heartbreaking yet inspiring glimpse into World War Two and those who served. Jane Healey's beautiful and descriptive writing made me feel as if the girls were my besties and I was right there with them. Be prepared when you read though...a box of tissues close by and a book hangover when finished! I highly recommend The Beantown Girls!
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Ready or not, we’re on our way to England. We just went through six weeks of training for these jobs. I had to learn to play badminton, for the love of God. There’s no turning back now.

I realized I was in a much better mood than when I arrived. I was supposed to be the one boosting their spirits, but instead that’s exactly what these men had done for me. Sometimes morale was a two-way street.

…my heart was aching in ways that felt very familiar and yet so different. It turns out y
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Barely historical fiction

This is 10 percent historical fiction and 90 percent fluff. More romance, with girls overly concerned with their makeup, who all happen to fall in love at first sight. And then neatly tied up with a bow type ending. 2 stars just for introducing red cross donut mobiles, a subject I had never heard of.
Sherri Thacker
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book kept me up awake at night into the wee hours. It was interesting to learn about the Red Cross Clubmobile girls and how much they helped during the WW2. I just loved Fiona the best and was rooting for her the whole way. Wow what a story!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Leaving Boston and their jobs to become Red Cross Clubmobile Girls is where we meet Viv, Dottie, and Fiona.

They all had different reasons for joining the Red Cross, but besides being a volunteer, Fiona's other reason was to find her missing fiance, Danny.

When they arrive in London, a buzz bomb greets them and scares them to death.

WE FOLLOW THE three friends through their seven-day training in all areas and share their fears and their fun during the training and in their jobs as Red Cross Clubmo
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up

I don't read a whole lot of historical fiction, but man, The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey is a MUST read if you are a historical fiction fan and are interested in reading about World War II.

What it's about: Based on the Red Cross Clubmobile girls, The Beantown Girls focuses on 3 friends that decide to join - Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie. Fiona's reason for wanting to join is different from her friends, her fiancé Danny has gone missing in the war and Fiona is determined t
Camille Maio
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story of friendship, love, and bravery. Historical fiction at its finest, inviting the reader into little-known parts of our past and bringing it to bloom with characters we love right away.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

2/5 stars, with 1 star added for the idea and research.

I wanted so badly to love this book. The description was fantastic, all the ideas were there, but the execution was lacking. The writing seemed stilted and forced from the beginning, and although the characters DID grow throughout the war, they all (particularly Fiona) were shallow and repeated themselves endlessly throughout the book. The exceptions to
I thought this book was good, but it had a couple of issues: too much romance and too many coincidences.

I thought this story was going to be about girlfriends and their experiences in the war. It was that, but it was also about women finding men. I was expecting something more like Code Name Verity and this was a lighter version with the women falling for different soldiers and discussing relationship issues. I didn't mind some of it because I do feel that it would represent the times to some e
Kerrin Parris
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I am a big fan of World War II historical fiction. I did not know about the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls and their contributions. This novel told their stories in a meaningful way with fantastic story telling. I can't wait to read more from this author.

I selected this novel for the month I hosted book club. We had a great discussion about the trials and tribulations these women endured while trying to help in the war effort.

Please follow my reviews at where I not
Aga Durka
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have read quite a lot of books in this category, especially WWII books, which makes it a little hard for me to be surprised and intrigued with the content of another book in this genre. “Beantown Girls” was an exception...I’ve actually learned quite a lot about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls (I’ve never heard of them before *gasp*) and their role in WWII. This book was a refreshing and surprising read about friendship, bravery, companionship, and love. Fion ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
The extra star was for helping me sleep at night. I finished the book determined that something would happen so that I too would be wowed by the story. I was wrong. A wholesome and fluffy vibe. Pollyanna goes to war. I expected Lawrence Welk to appear. I'm in the minority. It happens.
Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I need to tell y'all a secret. I have been burnt out on Historical Fiction....I know, I know. I would say the last few months it has not pulled me in. UNTIL....The Beantown Girls. This book was everything I wanted and needed.
It was my bookclub book and we had really excellent conversation so that is always a plus. I loved the characters. I loved the sprinkle of love. I loved the viewpoint of the war from a female's eyes. So often we see WWII through a male lens and I adored the different view po
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
It's 1944, and there is a war, and those topics alone typically stop me from reading certain books. SO MANY TIMES I've started reviews with, I'm not a "historical fiction fan but....." BUT, THIS BOOK. This has officially turned me into a HUGE historical fiction fan. I adored every character, I looked forward to reading it every night and rushed to get back to it. And I am SO MAD that it had to end. The emotions in this one are so easy to feel - I found myself laughing out loud, and my husband ke ...more
Aga Durka
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have read quite a lot of books in this category, especially WWII books, which makes it a little hard for me to be surprised and intrigued with the content of another book in this genre. “Beantown Girls” was an exception...I’ve actually learned quite a lot about Red Cross Clubmobile Girls (I’ve never heard of them before *gasp*) and their role in WWII. This book was a refreshing and surprising read about friendship, bravery, companionship, and love. Fion ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read my fair share of World War Two HF and I'm always eager to see a new spin on things, so when I read the description of this and realized I had never even heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls I was excited! The idea of these young women volunteering to help out during such a scary and unsure time was fascinating to me and their bravery was so inspiring.
Historical accuracy is so important to me, even when reading fiction and Healey did an amazing job at staying very close to true even
Susan Peterson
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. The author really captured the essence of these women, as well as the servicemen, who served their country during WWII. The story was heartfelt and poignant, leaving me in tears at times, but also making my heart happy in other moments. It was wonderful to watch these women as the evolved, losing their naivety along the way, but gaining strength and courage. The Beantown Girls is compelling and well-paced, a book which will keep readers involved emotionally from the firs ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
3.5 STARS - Even as an avid reader of WWII Historical Fiction I was surprised that I had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile girls and their influence on the war effort. This was a group of young, educated American women who were sent overseas to bring a little bit of home to the men on the front lines. While their main duties included serving donuts and coffee to the men, their morale boosting presence was what benefitted the soldiers the most.

The story is well-researched and benefited fro
Lynda Loigman
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story of female ambition and friendship. Jane Healey has written a special story of some of the war's unsung heroines and the fascinating lives they led.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've written this review for Really Into This

Check out all of our reviews at
Happy Reading, friends!

Fiona’s fiance goes missing. Determined to find out the truth, Fiona applies to be a Red Cross Clubmobile girl. Along with her friends, Viv & Dottie, they head across the world. They will be serving coffee & doughnuts & bringing good cheer to the soldiers during World War II.

First, I love this group of f
These were my grandmothers and great aunts!

This story filled me with nostalgia and I read it with my veteran family members nudging me when their part of the war was featured . . .including a great aunt who really was a nurse that went to France where she ended up meeting her husband during emergencies in mobile hospitals. . . .it rang true to me.

Romance is not my favorite. . And this is a very light read. . .

But this had enough other credible storylines that I was able to enjoy it immensely.
Carol (Reading Ladies)
4.5 stars

In Beantown Girls, three best friends conspire to serve their country during WW11 by joining the Red Cross as Clubmobile girls: Fiona is admired for her organizational and leadership skills; Viviana is adventuresome and outspoken; and Dottie is a shy music teacher. Healey uses a linear timeline to tell the story from Fiona’s point of view, and we soon discover that Fiona’s primary objective in this venture is to find more information about her fiance who is missing in action. To qualif
[[ Frankie ]]
I love picking up a good historical fiction novel, especially those dealing with the Second World War. The Beantown Girls was a heart-wrenching, yet beautiful tale, with an amazing cast of strong female characters. The feelings this book gave me while reading it puts it pretty high up on my list of favorite WWII books. I’m literally at war with myself [no pun intended] trying to decide if I should bump this one up to five stars.

I feel this tale really gave an accurate description [obviously base
Laura • lauralovestoread
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley-arcs
Another part of WWII history that I never even knew about! The Red Cross Clubmobile Girls helped raise morale during the war handing out coffee, making doughnuts, pitching in wherever help was needed in order to aid the soldiers.

I loved The Beantown Girls so much! Fiona, Viviana, and Dottie were the three beauties who were friends since college, and decide to enter this next adventure together, to help the soldiers overseas.

*Thank you to netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy
A rewarding sentimental journey! This book brought to mind all my favorite classic movies from & about this time period—Pearl Harbor, So Proudly We Hail, Since You Went Away—and the way they celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Loved the camaraderie among the girls, the vignettes of the soldiers (who knew a man saying farewell to a beloved dog could bo so touching), the sweet, quirky supporting characters, the descriptions of clothes & places & music, and especially the romance. ...more
Sue Em
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rounding up from 4 1/2 stars. Three friends from Boston sign up to serve doughnuts, coffee, tea and sympathy as part of the Red Cross Clubmobile program. Fiona, whose fianceé is missing in Germany has convinced her friend to go with her searching for info about him while working for the Red Cross. The three women and their friends contribute their hearts and talents to alleviating some of the stress and sadness of the American troops. As the book progresses, what they go through change them fore ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This is Historical Fiction WWII. I liked both of those genres in this book. However, overall the story line felt excessively "fluffy". The characters were likable but they seemed more like caricatures. Not a deal breaker though because I enjoyed the sweet & sentimental story. But what did bother me a little was the consistent use of modern phrases in the dialogue of 1940's men and women. It happened too often and some of them should have been caught in editing. So 3 stars and I will also mention ...more
Sydney Long
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
Wow! First of all...let me just say I was so sad to see this book come to an end. It hooked me straight away and I found myself reading it every chance I got...even at times when I wasn’t supposed to (while working). It flows absolutely beautifully and keeps you engaged with each turn of the page.

The Beantown Girls follows three friends...Fiona, Viviana and Dottie as they sign up for the Red Cross during WWII. Each girl has their own reason for signing up but this story is written from Fiona’s P
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Jane Healey shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. When she’s not writing historical fiction, she enjoys running, reading, cooking and going to the beach.

For more information on the author, her work and upcoming events:

Twitter and Instagram:@healeyjane

News & Interviews

Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
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“How best to honor those we’ve lost? By not being afraid to live life and take risks, by daring to open your heart to possibility. By taking a chance to begin. Again.” 1 likes
“I’m Frankie Cullen,” she said, nodding at me, Dottie, and Viv. She was barely five feet, with wide-set light-brown eyes and shiny dark-brown curls peeking out from under her helmet, but there was a toughness about her despite her childlike size. She looked around, observing the scene without a trace of fear” 0 likes
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